Lessons From The Past

Working In A Coffee Shop

Working In A Coffee Shop

MELBOURNE, FL — #LivingIt #Surrender

February 28, 2015 9:59 AM

After looking in on Mom to see how her second bionic eye is doing after her cataract surgery (“Good”), I drove to find a place to get some writing done. On the way, I spotted a woman awkwardly riding a bike too short for her height, and seeing her struggling with it, it reminded me of the time I rode across the town of Eugene, OR on a miserable folding bicycle during the stressful and miserable Trials of the Big Black Box Truck of 2010. What a nightmare I was living back then! It’s amazing how much easier my life has become since I’ve made Surrender my primary directive—to cease trying, to cease resisting, and to just flow with Life. Why did it take me so long to learn this?

Speaking of Life-lining-up-when-you-surrender, I saw an article today which states that after their brutal, record breaking Winter, the Northeast should be blessed with a warmer than normal Spring. Perfect! Just in time for my travels. I’m a very lucky man.

Peter from Melbourne Australia suggested that before I hit the road again, that I drop in on Swami Abhayananda who may be living here in Florida (though I saw elsewhere that he may be living in Washington state). In researching his background, I found some books of his that look quite interesting. This gives me even more stuff to read! I swear I’ve got at least a dozen books that I’m either in the middle of or have queued up in my Kindle-hopper.

I believe I will try to contact him. In an all-day review of his works yesterday, he comes across as quite transparent about his former life, some of which was quite controversial. (At great personal cost, he “outed” his abusive guru.).

I’m always interested in talking to Mystics who—as Abhayananda obviously does—walk the talk.

To Thrive

Manatee Dreamin'

Manatee Dreamin’

MELBOURNE, FL — #VanDwelling #Remember #Soul

February 26, 2015 7:54 AM

The days have been running together, a sad testament to modern life’s routine. Reading and writing and running errands—rotating through the same locations in the same town. Maybe I’m picking up the winter blues that affect so much of the northern hemisphere this time of year. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve inadvertently experienced the pain of the larger population.

I’m look forward to hitting the road—even bought Heat-Moon’s Blue Highways for added inspiration. With Mom’s last cataract surgery scheduled for later today, I should be back on the road soon enough.

I’ve toyed with where to go when I head out. I’ve kicked around a couple ideas, but after reading Bob Well’s latest post, on his reasons for flying to Florida to visit his mother rather than driving, I’ve decided to take the opposite approach. Bob (seemingly unconsciously) is looking at his Florida visit as a round trip, referring to “returning home” a number of times.

The difference is that I don’t consider anywhere home (or just as accurately, I consider everywhere home), so my travels tend to be one way trips. From here, I think I’ll take this I-find-myself-in-Florida opportunity as a starting point to drift northeast as the temperatures warm with the spring thaw.

Other than a couple places I’d like to revisit (D.C.Lancaster county), I’ve no intention on mapping a route or setting a timetable.

I live in a van, I’ve no obligations, I’m completely free and I expect to die soon (as all of us will). In the time we’ve got left, we can survive or we can thrive.

I choose the latter.

8:42 AM

Before I forget, I want to #Remember something that a video reminded me of (a video referenced by Rob in the comments):

Reincarnation implies that our current (seemingly all-important) life will soon feel like a dream.

Just as we forgot our previous lives (even children who recall their former life forget it as they grow older), we’ll forget this life when we take on our next one.

Remembering that we’ll soon forget this “all-important” life, that it will soon feel no more real than a dream, takes all the pressure off it—takes all the seriousness out of it.

This life is no more important that a dream—a lucid dream. You can make it a dream of rote and routine, or one of growth and adventure.

We can survive or we can thrive. I choose the latter.

An Unexpected Insight

The Bird and the Dawn Sky

The Bird and the Dawn Sky

MELBOURNE, FL — #Soul #Death

February 24, 2015 9:32 AM

In search of more evidence of the Soul, I’m reading a book on reincarnation, Children Who Remember Previous Lives. It’s a dense book, lots of scientific research methodology, so I’m not sure I recommend it to a more general audience.

Rather than focusing on the details of individual cases, what I find far more indicative of truth is the repeated patterns—shared traits—of most past life cases.

Two big surprises I’ve picked up from these patterns:

  1. All evidence suggests we consciously selected our current life. I’ve believed this was true ever since my LSD vision, but the repeated, common pattern suggests that this is indeed so. I base this on how many cases where the children’s most recent past life either resided near the new family or was related to them. If your new life was purely random, this pattern wouldn’t have emerged.
  2. There doesn’t appear to be any evidence that we know the future of these newly selected lives. I’ve long believed that we select these lives based on what they can teach us (ie: know its destiny), but none of the children seem to have any memories of this process. (Many, though have reported a sage-like guide in the “in between state” (bardo realm) that helps them make a new life selection).

The implications of these two patterns mean I have to rethink a key aspect of my theory of destiny. Before reading this book, I assumed (assumptions are such sneaky bastards) that I had selected this life (and all previous lives) based on what I knew it would help me learn. While in the bardo realm, I would see all the events that this new (potential) life would encounter, see what I could learn from it, and then select it if I felt it useful for my spiritual development. Sort of like consciously selected karma.

Not knowing the destiny of a potential life while in the bardo realm means that we only select a life based on its potential. We infer what we will learn based on the family, race, society and culture of the new parents.

This evidence throws my idea of karma out the window. This life’s future is no longer a chosen, fully understood (then forgotten) fixed destiny. At best, we selected this life as a probability it would help us evolve based on an informed guess (selection of a new life based on the new family’s circumstances). At worst, we selected it based on simple attachment to stuff from the previous life (loved ones, enemies, lifestyle improvement, …).

I’m not sure how I feel about this, but that’s what the evidence suggests.

A Morning Backward

The Morning Routine

The Morning Routine

MELBOURNE, FL — #MiracleLog #LivingIt

February 22, 2015 7:50 AM

As the morning sky glowed with the dawn of a new day, I drove on an empty road as Modern English’s I Melt With You played on the radio:

You’ve seen the difference and it’s getting better all the time.

The lyrics fit in perfectly with my practice of not taking the mind so seriously and what I had just read in this morning’s blog post by Seth Godin, The Trolls Inside:

But the [Troll] in your head, that voice of insecurity and self-criticism, that’s the one you need to be the most vigilant about.

Do not feed the troll.

Do not reason with the troll.

Do not argue with the troll.

Most of all, don’t litigate. Don’t make your case, call your witnesses, prove you are right. Because the troll knows how to sway a jury even better than you do.

The troll inside is the “I” of my CSI-IED meditation. Ignore the mind. Irrelevant thoughts. Insignificant mental noise. Lot’s of I’s (me-me-me-me). The troll inside.

I had read Seth’s post as I lay in bed—a bird outside my window, singing his morning song. I had read it after finishing my CSI-IED meditation and I was feeling One and Light and Eternal and Temporary.

I did this meditation first thing this morning because I had just awoken from a dream of drama—of thoughts taken too seriously—probably brought on by binging on Jack Bauer and 24 last night—and the thoughts (the irrelevant, insignificant, yet troll-y thoughts) were leaving me feeling contracted and dark.

Contracted and Dark versus One and Light.

You’ve seen the difference and it’s getting better all the time.

The Trials

Seeing the Tree thru Obstacles

Seeing the Tree thru Obstacles

MELBOURNE, FL — #Surrender #FourthWall #Technique

February 20, 2015 11:03 AM

My intention was to work on my taxes this morning but I ended up working on the book instead.

In the book, I’m addressing the Trials phase of awakening, how—as the personal self fades and TaoGodHer becomes an active participant in the Mystic’s life—She puts the seeker through a series of tests. Tests and trials that are designed to help the newbie Mystic learn the power of surrender—of flowing with Her Will—and the consequences when Her Will is ignored.

In the book, I used these blog posts as examples of how I finally came to learn this painful lesson:

Michelle is going through a tough time, and I suspect it is part of her Trials phase—that she’s being taught the art of Surrender and Flow.

If you’re life isn’t flowing, then there’s egoic fear (me-me-me) involved in the mix somewhere (either your’s or someone else’s).

Flowing—the art of Divinely guided, stress-free, effortless living—is not about going in the direction that you want to go, but in the direction that TaoGodHer wants you to go.

It’s not at all easy—and it often takes a tremendous amount of faith—but it is, eventually, very rewarding.

The Doomsday Report

The Doomsday Report

The Doomsday Report

MELBOURNE, FL — #Death #MyLove #MiracleLog

February 19, 2015 9:47 AM

Yesterday, somehow, I found myself reading this Doomsday report, which presents a dozen well researched scenarios that sadly supports my not so secret theory that Mankind is doomed to kill himself off.

Of the twelve threats listed on the report, only two of them are naturally occurring. The rest are all man-made.

It isn’t a pleasant report, and since it was designed as a warning—a call-to-action—it isn’t meant to be.

In reading the report, I also stumbled across something called the Fermi Paradox (Why isn’t the galaxy overflowing with intelligent life when probability says it should be?). One of the answers comes to the same conclusion I came to: Man, as a whole, is not morally capable of handling the technology he’s developed.

The Mystic sees all Life as an interconnected Whole. As this report suggests, so do many scientists. The problem is, the world isn’t run by Mystics and scientists.

Politicians, government leaders, warlords—the few with the power over the many—seem to see civilization through an us-against-them worldview. An aggressive, combative philosophy (me-me-me-me-me) of viewing the world that is literally killing us.

The Fermi Paradox suggests that this may be the ultimate test of a species’ worth—a naturally occurring check valve which keeps self-centeredness from running too far astray. Sort of a God Test if you will:

Is Mankind spiritually worthy of survival?

At this moment, we’re obviously not.

10:24 AM

communed with Her. I allowed the shaft of Light to penetrate my head, dissolve my body and expand outward and I thought about what I had written above.

I was surprised when I clearly heard TaoGodHer:

There’s hope. Not for Mankind, it’s too late for that, but I never die. Life will be born on other planets and grow and progress and be tested. Eventually we’ll progress beyond the personal self.

She never dies. We never die. Life may end on this planet, but we’ll just come back on another. Life is eternal and time is irrelevant. Worlds and civilizations come and go. Sort of the cyclical nature of tides on an eternal, universal scale.

Note: Quoting the Divine is the sign of a crazy man, so take this simply as my belief—the belief of a crazy man—and feel free to disregard. This is just a personal journal after all—the ramblings of a man no longer entirely normal.

Downwardly Mobile

The Possibilities

The Possibilities

MELBOURNE, FL — #VanDwelling

February 18, 2015 9:50 AM

Though I’ve been “moored” in Melbourne for over two months now, I have not slept a single night in my folks’ condo. Every evening I’ve stealth camped somewhere around town. My new favorite urban camps: Industrial business parks. Hotels are easier to find, but are noisy. Ditto apartment complexes. Ditto strip malls and big box stores which, by their nature, are usually built right next to busy highways.

Business parks though—since they don’t cater to the general public—are usually on the outskirts of town and, after everyone leaves for the night (6-7 pm), are quiet and empty of traffic. The van—with its side mounted, he-must-be-a-contractor ladder—fits right in.

As an experiment to see how long I can get away with it, every night for the last month I’ve been camped in the same business park—even going so far as to park in the same parking space. I’ve not had a single run-in with the law (nor anyone else for that matter). In after the sun goes down, out before it comes up.

Some may find urban stealth camping morally unethical, but I live by a “do no harm, leave no trace” policy. A vehicle, being a physical object, must reside somewhere at night, so what difference does it make where it’s parked if there’s no one about to see it? Sort of like the tree falling in the forest scenario.

Do no harm. Leave no trace. Blend in. If more nomads lived by these simple rules, there’d be less social stigma attached to the voluntarily downwardly mobile.

2:43 PM

We found out yesterday that Mom’s second cataract surgery is scheduled for the 26th. Since she’s only got two eyes, this should be her last cyborgenic procedure for awhile. Once the mandatory two week bending and lifting ban expires, my time here in Central Florida should come to an end and peace and prosperity should fill the land.

Auspicious timing too. After a brief trip south to Key West, I should start a northerly migration right around the Spring solstice (March 21).

As Often As I Remember

The Interconnected Nature of Being

The Interconnected Nature of Being

MELBOURNE, FL — #MiracleLog #Remember #Technique

February 17, 2015 1:11 PM

Some validation of the “expect good things to happen” item from my List of Truths and Practices:

At the moment, Mom’s only comfortable driving short distances, so this morning I drove Dad to get some blood work done at the hospital. The parking guy pointed me to a spot right next to the entrance and even though it was the morning after a long weekend and appointments aren’t taken for lab work, there was zero waiting and Dad and I were in and out of there in less than ten minutes.

Here is my revised list and how I remember it:

  • C: COMMUNE with God.
  • S: SURRENDER your will.
  • I: The INSIGNIFICANCE of thoughts.
  • E: EXPECT good things to happen.
  • D: You’ll be DEAD soon.

To remember the list, I pronounce it “CSI, IED” (there’s only one “I” (Insignificance), but it’s easier to remember with two).

COMMUNE : I visualize TaoGodHer as a column of Light shining down through my head, filling and dissolving my body and radiating outward. We become one.

SURRENDER : I surrender my personal will to whatever is going on at the moment.

INSIGNIFICANCE : I (try) to remember how insignificant my thoughts are.

EXPECT : In any situation that I am participating in, I expect it to work out well (see this morning’s example above).

DEAD : I try to remember that I’ll be dead soon which acts as a compass for my actions (Is whatever I am doing right now what I want to or should be doing?).

I do these practices as often as I remember—at least as long as I don’t have something more pressing to focus my mind on.

Relationships: Mystical and Otherwise

An Example of a Fear-based Relationship.

An Example of a Fear-based Relationship.

MELBOURNE, FL — #FourthWall #MyLove #Technique #Intimate

February 16, 2015 9:18 AM

Relationships can be tough, particularly of the human kind.

Here’s a simple Truth:

Love flows and opens. Fear struggles and contracts.

If I’m feeling open, then I’m acting from Love. If I’m feeling contracted, then from Fear.

If my life flows, then I’m on course. If it’s a struggle, then I’m not.

According to Vedanta (according to Deepak Chopra), there are two symptoms of enlightenment: A lack of worry, and an increase in synchronicity.

The open, flowing nature of unconditional Love explains the lack of worry.

Since my main squeeze is TaoGodHer (and She always acts from Love), this makes my life incredibly easy and stress-free. When in doubt, all I have to do is a quick gut-check (Am I feeling open or am I feeling contracted?) and I get instant feedback.

Contrast this stress-free relationship with the chaotic (sometimes breezy, sometimes tumultuous) energy of most human relationships.

Big difference.

For the Mystic in a human relationship, not only do they have to gut-check their own motivations (open or contracted), but they have to guess at their partner’s motivations too: Is their partner acting from Love? or from Fear?

Lucky for you, here’s another simple Truth:

STRESS in any relationship (human or otherwise) means someone is acting from Fear.

A List of Truths and Practices

"Please Don't Eat Our Trash Can"

“Please Don’t Eat Our Trash Can”

MELBOURNE, FL — #Surrender #Technique #Remember #FourthWall

February 15, 2015 2:14 PM

This morning, I did a little research for the book, trying to find some quotes from Mystics about evidence of the Divine. After about an hour, I had only found a couple. Maybe I’m using the wrong search terms.

Later, in the van, I made a sandwich and a list. The idea is a single, short document—a list of truths and practices—that I can review every day to remind my mind of some key things I want to #Remember:

  • Commune with God. Idea from St. Teresa of Avila. I’ve been very passive about my communion with Her, maybe it’s time to be a little more proactive.
  • Surrender your will to this moment/Her. Amazing how difficult this is to remember.
  • Expect good things to happen. This is one of the implications of God (the less there is of me, the more there is of Her, …). Hat tip Dave.
  • The insignificance of thoughts. Seriously, everyone I saw today will have at least a thousand of them. How many will they act on? How many will come true?

To the readers: I suggest you make your own List of Truths and Practices based on your personal spiritual issues. Try to limit it to the top five stumbling blocks which consistently trip you up. Edit it as necessary to keep it fresh and applicable to your current stage of development.